BTW (“By The Way…”) - University of San Francisco

closebunkieAI and Robotics

Nov 15, 2013 (4 years and 7 months ago)


BTW (“By The Way…”)

Information Annotation


Rudd Stevens, Jason Endo

University of San Francisco


Current methods of sharing knowledge between

Blogs, email, bulletin boards, instant messaging,

All require users to know location of information in
order to share data and knowledge. (Search engines

Necessitates a context change from the initial page.

Problem Statement

We would like to connect objects and users easily
and intuitively on the web, without knowing location
information and negating the need for a context

Objects represent collections of information, people,
documents etc.

User would be able to create and annotate objects.

A web (browser) based solution would be ideal
because it’s platform independent.

Related Work

“Magpie: Towards a Semantic Web Browser”,

zbor, M., et al.

Implemented as an Internet Explorer (IE) extension.

Interprets the Semantic Web through ontologies.

Uses a user specified ontology to associate a
semantic layer of the web with the current web

Highlights related text.

Related Work

“NuggetMine: Intelligent Groupware for
Opportunistically Sharing Information Nuggets”
Goecks, J., Cosley, D.

Groupware application for a limited network with Java
desktop client.

Presents the user with a sequence of “nuggets” of
potentially interesting information.

Uses a set group of categories to classify the

Utilizes a server to store and build associations
between nuggets.

Related Work

“How to Make a Semantic Web Browser” (
Quan, D., Karger, DR.

Full fledged desktop application.

Collects semantic information from different sources
and presents it to the user.

Allows navigation between pieces of information.

Goal is to facilitate the division and re
of information to create a more personalized,
meaningful compilation for the user.

The system is based on the information being
encoded using RDF to contain and classify the

Our Solution

Create web related interface (Mozilla Firefox
browser extension) for exchanging information
between users.

Allow users to create annotations (nuggets) related
to static information sources.

Provide automatic notification of related objects for a
given web page.

Central server for storing nuggets and servicing

What is a nugget?

An “object” representing some entity.

The entity could be a person, paper, book,
conference or film, etc.

The nugget could be a short biographical note on a
person, a comment on an article or a snippet of
code describing a concept.

The information is encoded via XML to provide
commonality and persistence.


Information Source



Client Application

Mozilla Firefox browser extension allows user to
create, view, edit and annotate nuggets.

Provides automatic notification of nuggets related to
a site.

Search interface allows search across nugget
repository by keyword.

Ease of installation and use. Compatible cross
platform, using XUL and Javascript.


Consists of a Java Servlet that receives and sends
via REST.

Uses the Jetty Servlet container.

MySQL database provides persistence and storage
for nuggets and created associations.

Nugget associations are stored in a table of triples,
providing easy manipulation of data.

Nugget Associations

Recognize and connect relations between nuggets.

Associations are created when a nugget is
submitted, using the relation fields to find related

authorOf, creatorOf, editorOf, studentOf, etc.

Additional nugget types will allow expanded
associations. MemberOf, etc.



Creating nuggets

Viewing related nuggets

Annotating existing nuggets

Editing nuggets

Search nugget database

View nugget associations

Future Work

Lucene search index

Peer configuration

Additional nugget types

Referral System, user ranking.


Create a method for users to annotate static
information sources.

Allow creation of “nugget” entities that can
represent a given object.

Unique entity that can be associated with other
entities and annotated to create a collection of
related information.


Our website:

The Semantic Web

Lee, T., Hendler, J., Lassila, O. (2001)


towards a semantic web browser,

Dzbor, M., Domingue, J., Motta, E.

NuggetMine: Intelligent Groupware for Opportunistically
Sharing, Goecks, J., Cosley, D. (2002)

Semantic Search ,

Guha, R., McCool, R., Miller, E. (2003)

How to Make a Semantic Web Browser,

Quan, D., Karger, DR. (2004)